What Is a Zucchini Bundt Cake?
Before you go about making the zucchini bundt cake, you should have a better understanding of what the cake is. It’s a rather interesting take on baked goods that has a firm origin in the American Midwest.
History of the Bundt Cake
The cake itself is called a “bundt cake” because of the pan itself. The pan is called a bundt pan and is a circular construction with angled rings swirling around the edge. The pan (and the cake) are based on a more traditional Kugelhupf cake (these cakes are generally taller, but if you look at the two cakes they are remarkably similar in appearance). The Kugelhupf (which also goes by the name of gugelhopf, guglhupf or gugelhupf depending on the region), dates back to Austria in the 1580s, although the current form of the baked good is made in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Alsace.
The bundt cake pan was first used in Minnesota during the 1950s. Then, in the 1960s, Nordic Ware trademarked the name and started manufacturing the aluminum pans. Eventually, Pillsbury started making recipes for the pan, which helped spread the popularity of the cake style.
There is no shortage of the kind of cakes you can make with a bundt pan. In fact, the bundt pan is so popular that November 15 is “National Bundt Day.” If you need a reason to make or buy some bundt cake, this is it! The zucchini bundt cake is just one option among dozens of recipes you can use with this pan.
Ingredients You’ll Need (and Optional Ones)
There are a handful of ingredients you’ll absolutely need to make the zucchini bundt cake. This recipe also offers a glaze, although you can experiment with a different glaze if you want or you can purchase a pre-made glaze. You can also add frosting, drizzle it in strawberry syrup, or do whatever you’d like with the topping. Realistically you don’t need any glaze either, although the added kick on top really helps take it to the next level.
Ingredients for the Cake:
- Bundt pan
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs (large)
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups shredded zucchini
Ingredients for the Glaze:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp cinnamon
When you begin making the zucchini bundt cake, you’ll want to heat your oven to 325 degrees. As the oven heats up, use a can of baking spray and spray the bundt pan. It’s best to use regular oil and not olive oil spray. You can use butter or a Crisco shortening layer along the edges instead of the spray if you like a slightly crispy edge. That’s a personal preference, but usually, the spray is the way to go.
As the oven heats, up combine the eggs, oil, and sugar. Whisk everything together until it’s blended through. Then add in the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and flour. You may need to add the flour a little at a time to make it easier to mix if you’re doing this by hand.
Shred the zucchini. There are a few ways you can go about doing this. You can add it to a food processor or blender and shred the zucchini. You can also shred it using a cheese grater. Occasionally the zucchini will be extra soggy. While this usually isn’t the case, if it is, you will want to rinse out some of the moisture first. You can do this by placing the shredded zucchini in a paper towel and squeezing the moisture out.
If it isn’t dripping and soggy when you’re done shredding you can continue on without squeezing out the extra moisture. Once you have shredded the zucchini, fold the veggie into the flour mixture.
With the zucchini folded into the flour mixture, pour the combination into the bundt pan. Let the mixture settle and slide it into the oven and allow it to bake for 55 to 60 minutes. One of the best ways to see if it is done is to take a toothpick and slide it into the cake. If the cake sticks, it hasn’t baked all the way through yet. If it doesn’t stick, it’s good to go and you need to pull it out.
Cooling and Preparing the Glaze
Allow the zucchini cake to cool for about five minutes, then flip the pan upside down and let it slide out. You don’t want to leave the cake in the pan for too long. If you do, the cake will continue to cook and the sides will be harder than what you’d like. The cake has already formed, so wait no longer than five minutes before removing it from the pan.
As the cake cools, it is now time to work on the glaze. Combine the milk, sugar, and cinnamon together. It is up to you what kind of milk you use. Vitamin D milk will have the most fat, which also means the most flavor when combined with sugar and cinnamon. You can use skim or fat-free milk if you’d like, or you can test out a few different options to see which one you like the best.
Now that the glaze is ready, drizzle it over the top of the cake and allow it to fall down into the center.
The Chocolate Option
Yes, there is a chocolate option. The chocolate will take over the taste of this cake, so if you want to at least maintain some zucchini taste you’ll go with the provided recipe. However, if you have a major sweet tooth and you love chocolate, this is the recipe for you.
You’ll want to use nearly the same measurements as the previous recipe, only you’ll want to add in one teaspoon of vanilla extract, one teaspoon of espresso powder, three fourths a cup of dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder (it’s important that it isn’t sweetened), and one cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
You will add in all the ingredients except the semi-sweet morsels in the beginning, as you’re mixing the flour. Once the flour is mixed, you’ll add in the semi-sweet morsels at the same time as the zucchini. You will bake the dish at the same temperature, but you’ll want to let it go between 60 and 65 minutes as it takes the chocolate a bit more time to cook through. Again you should use the toothpick trick to test to see if the cake is done.
With this particular recipe, you will want to let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Because the chocolate has turned into a liquid during the baking process, you’ll want it to harden some. Allow it to sit for a whole 15 minutes for best results.
You can use any kind of glaze or topping you want with this cake. If you’d like, you can make frosting or purchase pre-made frosting from the store, although the homemade frosting won’t be as artificially sweet as what you buy from the store. You can also serve it with ice cream or top it with a glaze and sprinkles. This is where you can really have fun with your zucchini bundt cake.
Storing Your Cake
You probably won’t be eating the cake all at once. If you have leftover cake, you’ll want to leave it in a cake saver. This is a special baked goods canister that allows you to keep the cake for up to five days or so. Of course, the zucchini bundt cake is so delicious that you will probably have it polished off in less time than five days, but having the baked goods cake saver is a fantastic investment if you plan on making this or any cake.
The zucchini bundt cake is a great way to use up zucchini that will only be ripe for a few more days. It is also a good way to help your family increase the number of veggies they eat (although eating only zucchini bundt cake is probably not the healthiest bit of advice). This is one of the best zucchini bundt cake recipes you’ll ever make, and best of all you can make it your own with any kind of glaze you might be interested in. So have fun and feel free to experiment with the toppings.